Autrey Mill Middle School Joins Fight Against Childhood Obesity
Autrey Mill Middle in Johns Creek wins award from national initiative to promote healthier eating in children.
According to Seema Csukas, medical director for Child Health Promotion at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, more than one in three children in Georgia between the ages of 10 to 17 are considered overweight or obese. There are many factors to take into consideration, including busier lifestyles that lead to more fast food consumption, less time for physical education and recess during school, and too much time spent watching television and playing video games instead of being outside and active.
At Autrey Mill Middle School in Johns Creek, The Cooks Club is determined not to become a statistic. The Club is a group of middle schoolers who meet to cook healthy snacks and meals. In fact, they recently won a gift through the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Chefs Move! Initiative. They were awarded $2,000 worth of cookware for which to cook healthy meals.
The Chef's Move initiative is a program run by the U.S Department of Agriculture. First Lady Michelle Obama is calling on chefs to adopt a school and work with them to demonstrate and promote healthier eating.
At Autrey Mill, Carlin Breinig is the chef who has adopted the school and is working with the children as well as parents and teachers to fight against the obesity epidemic. Breinig is a Certified Personal Chef and works as a personal chef through her company, Home Cooking Personal Chef Service. She also teaches children's cooking classes at the Cook's Warehouse in Atlanta.
At Autrey Mill she works with the principal, teachers and children in science class and conducts lunch-and-learn sessions with parents. She is also in charge of the the Cook's Club, the afterschool culinary club that won the award from Chefs Move.
For those that want to beat childhood obesity at home, there are many resources in Johns Creek. Talk to your school about starting a cooking club, if one does not already exist. Visit the Young Chef's Academy on State Bridge Road and sign your kids up for cooking classes so that they can learn to cook healthy meals as well. You can also visit Whole Foods for organic, natural products to cook.
Eating healthy can make a big difference in the health and well being of our children. Autrey Mill shows that it can also be rewarding in other ways as well. With little changes in habits and lifestyles, the fight against childhood obesity can be won.